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Sex, Art, and American Culture: Essays (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 8. September 1992

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  • Sex, Art, and American Culture: Essays
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The author shares her observations on date rape, sexual harassment, the decline of education and culture, and other key issues.


A collection of twenty of Paglia's out-spoken essays on contemporary issues in America's ongoing cultural debate such as Anita Hill, Robert Mapplethorpe, the beauty myth, and the decline of education in America.



Format: Taschenbuch
I don't agree with all she says, but what I really like about her is that she has more chutzpah and speed than a rampaging rhino. To me, that's what academia needs--chutzpah and speed and a kick in the pants or two. The prototypical professor has some kinda "Goodbye Mr. Chips" ivory tower affectation--"airs", they call it--that serves to lose many a bright and promising student. Paglia knows about that, of course, and she speaks about it, but she is a creation beyond mere academia...She kinda reminds me of some of those Professors I had like in Western/Non-Western Civilizations Courses and Comparative Religion Studies when I was a mere embryo in my liberal arts college. These professors made learning interesting because they weren't afraid to go into the trenches, so to speak, to bring home a lesson. I ended up with with professors who did missionary work in apartheid South Africa, who were NASA physical chemists, who were heirs to syrup and condiment dynasties...and they were all very successful in reaching me, a hardheaded, hardboiled kid from the heartlands.
Paglia is one of my favorite professor/writers/pop culture experts. She is usually dead-on those topics she explores and describes. Imagine my thrill, if you will, when I found she had an ongoing column in the netmagazine "Salon" and she is deliciously brazen, bold, informative and Italian about topics ranging from the Oscars--who won and what they were wearing and what she really thinks about, say, Gwenneth Paltrow--to the aforementioned ivory tower madness in most esteemed colleges and universities across the nation--to her ongoing calls for reform in many aspects of the feminist movement. I call her the neo-Renaissancer.
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Format: Taschenbuch
Paglia writes from a standpoint of anti-PC/anti-postmodernist philosophy. The weakness of her book is that it is dedicated to what John Berger has called 'the instant culture', the culture where postmodernism has cut us off from the past while the media cuts us off daily from the future. For a study of the interaction of the media with the outcast elements of the instant culture from the standpoint of PC/postmodernism see Joshua Gamson's "Freaks Talk Back". Both Paglia and Gamson are TV addicts. Both praise the role of the media in the instant culture. One is Foucauldian, the other is not.
Paglia's intellectual contribution comes from her anti-postpodernism. PC is an instant-practice in postmodernist society that creates/spreads the pseudo-disease called victimization. America has, through PC, become a nation of victims. See also "Dumbing Down our Kids", by Charles J. Sykes, for the role played by schools in creating 'victims'. Paglia's anti-postmodernist essay 'Junk bonds and Corporate Raiders' is worth reading because it's a very effective attack on postmodernism/PC, and predates the Sokal hoax by about five years. Her MIT lecture is also worth reading. The rest of the book, in praise of the instant-culture created by modern capitalism, which has largely destroyed the chance of nontrivial culture within America, includes a lot of horn-tooting for Paglia by Paglia and does not shed light on anything worth knowing. Paglia likes to emphasize her Italian roots, but the stark contrast with John Berger's writing, where peasants do not behave as victims and capitalism is not praised for what it has done, is worth noting.
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Von Ein Kunde am 1. Oktober 1998
Format: Taschenbuch
The importance of this book will only be of worth to those who think, and are disgusted with the path with which the Baby Boomer's have taken. From the 60's through the early 70's, where sit-in's were popular and people were actually concerned with political leader's and foreign affairs, the American Society looked like they were on the road to ethics which we could feel good about. These very Baby Boomer's wanted to live in a better, less distorted society. Something onlong the course of history changed, and these ideals fell from the minds of the Baby Boomer's. Possibly it had something to do with new considerations (like raising children and making money). De facto or premeditative, the importance of raising kids and education to these very people have not only fallen, but now remain missing. Camille illustrates not only this fact, but also the sheer lack of thinking which now exists in American Society. She also describes perfectly how the Universities are failing at teaching future generations how to think, and failing at giving their students exposure to History in general. She is an American rebel who is willing to go against the tide of the establishment (educational institutions as well as the real world) and stand up for thinking!!! To suggest that Camille is right or wrong is one thing to argue (I believe she is right), but her ability to have the guts to stand up against the majority of those who prefer not to question makes her unquestionably a remarkable women.
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Von Ein Kunde am 28. Mai 1999
Format: Taschenbuch
While she deserves her fame, there have been two negative effects from it. One is that her immense ego has gotten even bigger. The other is that she now wants us to hear her opinion on every topic under the sun. Compared to the insights of Sexual Personae, this book is fluff. Yes, there are some interesting things here, but nothing like the sustained analysis of her first book. There's a contradiction in her work. While she is always criticizing the semioticians and the post-structuralists, in a sense they made her work possible. Before them, pop culture was not a fit subject for serious intellectual study. You don't see her mentor Harold Bloom talking about the Rolling Stones. She can write intelligently about pop culture when she puts her mind to it, which is what I'm hoping Sexual Personae Volume Two will be about. Unless you're a big fan, skip this book and wait for that one
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